Being the girl with 4 hats can be really rewarding, fun, involved, and most of the time, exhausting. Well, last Saturday it was definitely the latter, and my body went on strike.
Hubby, Sonny Boy and I went to see our new(well soon to be ours) rental and give in the final paperwork and information needed. We were hit with a bomb: we could not move in until the end of October now. That wouldn’t have been a problem, but we knew that our lease was up at the end of September at our current place. Uh oh indeed. My mind started to go into overdrive.
I also started to remember that, hey, this is finals week for me, and hey, we are taking our Labor Day trip to Ohio on Friday and I needed to get our bags packed. Oh yeah and hey, you gotta take your finals on the Sunday before Labor Day which means you’ll have to finish your whole semester online while you are on vacation. Oh! And hey! Don’t forget that the week of September 8th, you will be spending a whole week away from Hubby and Sonny Boy while you do military duty, so who’s going to watch your child while hubby’s working? Do you have clothes washed and ready for both of them that week? How about food? How are you going to get around down there with no car? Oh and wait! Now you have to figure out where your family’s going to live for a whole month. And pack up all of you things. Don’t forget those everyday items you have to do too: feed your family, clean up, play with your child, wash yourself, wash your kid, feed him again, do a bit of blogging, and sleep!!
This is where my head began to spin and my heart started to beat very fast and my chest tightened to the point of extreme pain. According to doctors and medical websites, I was having the oh-so-wonderful panic attack. Since this was happening right in the car on the way home, Hubby was confused and scared of what was happening to his wife. He kept asking me what was wrong as I bent over and tried to breathe between my knees. Like any typical man, he proceeded to speed up and get us home as fast as possible. The swerving definitely didn’t help with the dizziness I was feeling, but I just wanted to get to our bed. I knew once I got there, I would be OK. Bed is sanctuary…..bed is good. Bed is nice.
I ran inside the house, leaving Hubby and Sonny in the car, threw down my purse, threw off my shoes, ran into the bedroom and collapsed. I knew what was happening to me. This, unfortunately, wasn’t the first time I had one of these attacks. Although the last one I had was while I was pregnant with Sonny Boy, I still remembered how I felt, and this time I wasn’t going to call my Mother In Law and scare her half to death like I did the first time. I would get through it. While I laid there and calmed down, I realized that I am doing TOO MUCH. Yes, I have 4 hats , but I have been operating like I have about 10, leaving those who live with me to do a lot less than they could be doing.
After the dizziness subsided, I called Hubby in and we had a talk. I needed him to put in some time and help around the house a bit and actually get the items done, not just say you will. he would have to wash his own dirty drawers for a while and play with Sonny Boy once he gets in from work. That’s a vital time for me when I need to cook, prepare for a trip to the library to study, and re-pack Hubby’s lunch. With an ankle-biter on me while I do all of that, it is quite stressful.
I also realized all that I was still doing for my now 3 year old. He doesn’t need Mama to dress him anymore….if I put out his clothes, he can dress himself. He doesn’t need Mama’s help to wash his hands before every meal; he can do it himself. He doesn’t need Mama’s help to put his dirty dishes from his meal in the sink; he’s tall enough now(goodness he’s tall!) to do it himself.
As I explained these things to Hubby, he completely understood and wondered why I hadn’t asked for help before. I love how Men forget important conversations. I had asked him numerous times for help and he had promised but never actually took action. This last panic attack really showed him how stressful being a SAHM can really be. He finally saw that he has it pretty easy at work compared to all that I’m responsible for. Hallelujah! We developed a plan of action for all that needs to be taken care of, and placed them in order of importance. It was great to have Hubby’s help with this: I’m a bit like a turkey when it comes to getting all of my items done, The most “shiny” or immediate item always gets done first, even if its the most insignificant. I was again reminded how important it is to have help, even if the help is someone who you see and take care of everyday.
I’m also proud to say, as of today, 4 days after my attack, 3/4ths of that list is taken care of. I needed to have that attack and my body and mind knew it. I needed a wake up call. Although I love to, I can’t do it all myself. A family is a family for a reason, and we have to help each other out. I’m a Mama and Wife, not a slave. I need to have a break sometimes too. I also need to realize that sometimes things may come up that you aren’t expecting and YOU CAN deal with them! I just needed to remember to take things in stride and one day at a time.
So, that’s how a panic attack saved my sanity.